Right on Kew
WOW. Or should that be WAW (What A Weekend)?
The racing over the weekend of 15 and 16 September was as dramatic as it was brilliant. I don’t know where to start so I best go in time order.
I had already seen Oh This Is Us just beaten thanks to having every door closed in his face. But that was just the hors d’oeuvres (that’s your actual French). TOO DARN HOT was just that in the Champagne Stakes.
He was going away at the end and would have won by further had Frankie not eased him down. He is still a work in progress in my view. He has some speed but the way he runs leads me to believe he will get further than a mile.
He could be very special but we have been here before with two year olds. He could go to the Dewhurst next. I expect him to improve again. His big sister was next.
Lah Ti Dar was the favourite for the St Leger. Did Frankie sit too far back? Or was it inexperience that found her out? She was only running her fourth race while KEW GARDENS was making his twelfth start. Or maybe the winner is just better.
Cup races beckon for him next term I think. As an aside I was pleased that Southern France finished best of the rest. Ryan Moore weighed in and then flew over to Ireland for his attempt at a Group One double but more on that in a bit.
The top miler in Europe was on show first at Leopardstown and of all the shorties last week I thought Alpha Centauri was the least likely to get turned over. But she was beaten.
It turned out she did have an injury and will race no more but you have to hand it to LAURENS. She is some filly. Hard as nails and wears her heart on her sleeve. Once again she made all and still had her neck in front at the line.
Yes the favourite did take a false step which definitely slowed her but the connections of Laurens have always said she is a star. The win earned her automatic entry to the Breeders Cup Filly & Mare Turf and with a good draw she would be making them go from the off.
But she could also try for another domestic Group One in the Sun Chariot or the Prix L’Opera on Arc day. I cannot wait.
The big race at Leopardstown was match up between two colts who had raced each other five times. For the fourth consecutive time ROARING LION finished in front of Saxon Warrior and in the process he bagged his third Group One. He is surely the best three year old at ten furlongs.
And just like at Sandown in the Eclipse it was a very close finish. It did look like the Coolmore horse had opened up enough of a gap but the winner got rolling and edged the Guineas winner at the line. Saxon Warrior is another who will not race again after sustaining an injury but his Newmarket run will live long in the memory.
Please make it happen
Roaring Lion is favourite for the Champions Stakes which is surely his next port of call. QUORTO kept his unbeaten record when winning the Vincent O’Brien National Stakes from Anthony Van Dyck and we now have the possibility of him facing Too Darn Hot in the Dewhurst. Oh please make it happen. The front two in the race were four clear of the third so the runner up is no back number.
SKITTER SCATTER won the Moyglare Stud Stakes to put herself into next years 1000 Guineas picture while HAVANA GREY gave Laurens trainer Karl Burke a Group One double in Ireland when he won the Flying Five.
Right we best get over to France and check out the Arc trials. Quorto’s trainer, Charlie Appleby, won the Prix Niel with BRUNDTLAND while the legend that is Andre Fabre took the Prix Vermeille with KITESURF. I would be surprised if either won the big race next month but the Prix Foy is a different matter.
Fabre saddled the winner in this (mind you he did have half of the six runner field) and also the second and third. The placed horses were a Breeders Cup Turf winner while the runner up was in that same position behind Enable in last years Arc. But WALDGEIST beat them both.
He has won four from five this season and looks to be getting better. The figures say that was his best ever run. Whether that is good enough to win an Arc I am not sure but he is certainly one to consider.